President Roberts proposes largest compensation initiative in Auburn history

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The first month of my presidency has been filled with an energizing set of conversations with students, faculty and staff from across campus. I’ve spent time listening and learning about their goals and aspirations for our university. It’s been uplifting to see that Auburn is in such a strong position with a team that is willing and ready to achieve more. Today, I would like to update you on the progress the university has made to recruit, retain and reward our very best talent through short- and long-term compensation strategies.

Auburn has been recognized by Forbes magazine as a premier workplace three times in the last five years. Recently, Auburn was ranked the No. 1 university on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Employers for New Grads” and No. 15 out of the 300 employers on the national list. In 2021, Auburn was named one of the Best Employers in Alabama, and in 2017, it was named one of America’s Best Midsize Employers. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Auburn among the top 50 public universities nationwide for 20 consecutive years.

These recognitions are bestowed because our faculty and staff work hard every day to improve the quality of our campus and community and to provide our students with an exceptional educational experience.

Our senior leadership committed several years ago to a set of specific compensation initiatives to improve the university’s competitive pay for faculty, university staff and administrative and professional employees. One part of the compensation initiative, which was announced in January, was to establish, for the first time, an Auburn University minimum hiring rate at $14.50 per hour. This ensured that all regular full-time and part-time employees earn at or above the generally accepted living wage for Lee County.

Today, we proposed a bold multi-phase compensation initiative to the Board of Trustees. We received preliminary approval from the Board to invest $32 million for fiscal year 2023 in our most important resource – our people. Our trustees know that Auburn employees invest so much into our students and campus and they want to recognize the impact and commitment of our excellent employees by investing in them. If formally approved, this would be the largest compensation investment in the history of Auburn University.

Part of the $32 million includes job family and faculty promotion funds and a 5% merit-based performance pay pool allocation for fiscal year 2023. As it is every year, there is no mandatory, across-the-board merit increase for any employee group. All merit increases are required to be substantiated by employee performance documentation, which is typically the completed annual performance review. Merit increases would be effective Oct. 1.

If our compensation proposal is formally approved by the Board of Trustees in September, additional information will be forthcoming about the specific employees who will receive Phase 1 market adjustments beyond that of merit-based performance pay and when those adjustments will be implemented. Market adjustments will ensure that new and current employees’ pay is rapidly progressing toward or at market competitive levels.

Thank you for all you do for Auburn.

War Eagle,

Christopher B. Roberts

Last updated: June 17, 2022